"If I defend, I am attacked" … is Monogamy a "defense"?

I’m going to write Part 2 of the “Why I don’t like condoms” article.

And I still need to write Part 3 of the Burning Man story.

In the meantime, I’m increasingly pondering whether monogamy — and possibly even commitment — is a defense. Not unlike condoms.

This is coming up because Burning Man Guy and I have been seeing a lot of each other, and we’re considering whether we’re now in an “open” relationship.

The conversations have been fairly humorous.

Him: I’m too wild to be tamed, even by a priestess. Although you’re not doing too bad.

Me: Lol I’m not trying to tame you.

Him: I know. You get me purring tho.

Me: I have enough of my own feelings much less attempt to tame yours.

And later he said: You’re up for an open relationship?

Me: Yes aren’t we both trying to work out this polyamory thing?

Later I said: I don’t see how we could have any kind of non-open relationship cuz I don’t want to put any energy into worrying if you’d be with other women.

We’ll see what happens, but what I’m noticing is how much the idea of monogamy feels like a defense to me. It feels like it creates fear where none was there before.

What, exactly, would I be “protecting” by putting those kinds of rules on another human being? And would I really be protecting anything, or would I just be setting myself up for stress and disappointment?

If Burning Man Guy is utterly free to have sex with whomever he wants, then I don’t need to police what he’s doing. I don’t need to feel that my trust was betrayed if he connects with someone else. It becomes impossible for him to “cheat.” I haven’t created a line, so there’s no line to cross.

“If I defend, I am attacked.”

It’s worth pondering.

About the Author:

Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening

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  1. I like to think of relationship in terms of connection and attachment. Connection is a flexible, elastic cord that can stretch over great distances and bend around any objects that may physically separate you. No matter how far apart or what's between you and your beloved, you still feel the connection. If you wish to share presence, all you do is strum it and the vibration travels back to

  2. I think most will tend to either latch on, or detach away. Possibly switching from one to te other given the relationship they are in at a time.

    My defense would be polyamory, since that's what my ego is more rooted in. The ego wants to sustain itself as always.

    For others it might be monogamy.

    In either case I think the "defense's" intention

  3. Oh SMoKeLioN,

    I like that.

    And talk about synchronicity. I'm doing an EFT session right now exploring whether both monogamy and polyamory are acting as defenses to "keep us safe." Monogamy because it keeps another person bound to us, and polyamory because it keeps us safe by not overly investing in any one person.

    I'm intrigued ;-)

  4. I think courage is opening yourself up and not being afraid of someone sticking the knife in.

    When i read the title, what first comes to mind is, "Is polyamory a "defense"?"

  5. Erika, thank you for your honesty. self-honesty is a great place to be.

  6. Thanks for the comments, everyone.

    Deirdre and Tinque,

    You mention oxytocin, and I've had many of those same thoughts before and they've felt "true" … I'm just starting to wonder whether the whole oxytocin bonding thing, losing control of our emotional self-reference, is yet another "story" we tell ourselves that's not fully empowering.

  7. erika, do u think you are at a point in life where you can go completely defenseless in all contexts of life (business, relationships, etc) or try to be this way?

    just curious, it is a tall order for most people but it is probably worth striving towards….

  8. "You'll never have a beautiful moment without courage because courage is the heart of beauty."

    Anonymous – this is very nicely stated.

    Erika – I think it's wonderful that you are on this part of your journey, pondering possibilities, figuring out what you want in this moment. as you reawakend your sexual side, and what you decide might change, and that'

  9. Loved the article Erika, really encapsulates one of the problems of a long term relationship.

    On one hand, I know I shouldn't fear losing her (because losing her doesn't change me as a man) but I fear it anyway (because she's really great). On the other hand I feel good to feel like this for someone, even if it might eventually be painful.

    I like to feel the way

  10. Definitely see your point Erika. it can be defensive, and it can feel very freeing to act on feelings of openness and love. I would be concerned that when your oxytocin starts flowing, and you feel bonded to him, and you think about him being with other women, that could cause feelings of anguish. True the agreement to a polyamorous relationship cancels out the possibility of betrayal, but there

  11. I recently introduced 2 girls that I'm dating, and it felt really genuine to do so. Score 1 for polyamory!

  12. I dunno, Anonymous.

    Perhaps true courage is going completely defenseless.

    Like telling someone how much you love them, and meaning it, without any expectation that they return the sentiment.

    And realizing you still feel good about it afterwards. :-)

  13. I don't understand at all. It's obvious, personal commitment is what you're afraid of losing and gaining. You'll never have a beautiful moment without couragebecause courage is the heart of beauty.

  14. lol… well yes, it would only feel good if you both wanted monogamy

    sounds like you are dating (ie open relationship)

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